HAPPY TUESDAY! Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite baby things that have been invaluable to me during the past 5 months. Like all moms, I obviously went through a lot of different products to make life easier for myself and for the munchkin - I think I finally have a good grasp on what works for us. I would not hesitate to recommend these items to anyone having their first or fifth baby!
Recently, I had a new mom-to-be reach out to me telling me she's positive she has gotten everything she and her child will need for the next year. She's done her diligent research and she's confident she won't be spending another dollar on baby related items. Bless her heart. I felt the same way prior to having my son. There are certain things that you only learn with experience and when you get to know your little one. Little did I know what works for YOU as a new mom or for your child is unique to everyone. These are just my suggestions on what got Zidaan and I through those first few months.
1. The playmat with the monkey.
Ok, I'm going to call my husband out here. When I ordered this off amazon, this guy had the nerve to tell me I'm buying too many useless things for the baby. Little did we know, the playmat would be the answer to all our prayers. Ever since Zidaan was about 7 weeks to turning 5 months this past weekend, the little chunker adores his playtime in the mat. Sometimes I wonder how staring at the same giraffe and monkey toys everyday doesn't get mundane or redundant. It somehow doesn't! Anytime we need a break or he needs some stimulation - we'll put him in there and he'll talk to his little animal friends (the monkey being his favorite) for a good 40-45 minutes. Basically y'all, it's one of the earliest play activities for your baby and it gives mama some much needed handsfree time to get other things done. Fair warning though: Some babies seem to like them a lot and some don't care at all, so these seem to fall in that (large) category of "you won't know until you try" baby items.
2. The lounger.
One of my sister in laws told me about this. Yes, I know this is very common and most of you moms are thinking "duh! why didn't you know about this?". I didn't. In the beginning you really struggle where to place your baby at all times. If not in your lap or a bouncer, the baby has to be in a crib or bassinet. Not the most mobile things. I wasn't a fan of the bouncer early on since his neck wasn't stable and it was just too much slouching for my liking. The lounger was a godsend! We could easily take it everywhere with us. His head was constantly elevated and he fit in it like a glove. He's 5 months now and we've been using this since he was 3 weeks!
3. Disposable changing sheets.
My mom is the mastermind behind this. Newborns poop 782642874 times a day. Having to use the same mat while you're out or constantly washing your changing pad cover at home is irritating. When I was home in Michigan, my mom had bought these multi use disposable cleaning sheets. I started keeping 10-12 in my diaper bag at a time. I also started laying these on my changing pad cover. After 2-3 diapers have been changed on the sheet, I simply throw the sheet away. To me, this keeps everything sanitary.
4. An amazing breastpump.
Yes y'all. I got bougie with my breastpump. I wanted the best, most expensive one on the market. This is before I knew I would eventually end up exclusively pumping for Zidaan. This isn't to say everyone should get the "most expensive" one. I would just highly recommend researching pumps and getting the right fit for you. I won’t beat around the bush: Attaching two suction cups to your boobs won’t ever feel normal, but if you plan on nursing, then chances are you’ll want a reliable pump. And if you’re heading back to work or find yourself always on-the-go, you’ll want to invest in a sturdy, daily-use pump that can stand the test of time. Things to look for: portability and durability. Besides engorgement and having some milk stored for later use, a pump can also help you increase supply. During the first month, I started pumping after each feed for about 10 minutes. This boosted my supply a lot!
I got the Medela Sonata. Linked here.
5. The Nosefrida!
Here’s the problem the NoseFrida solves: Babies get colds and they get super stuffy. Um hello small nasal passages! Also, these munchkins have no idea how to blow their nose. They also don’t know they can breathe out their mouth when their nose isn’t doing the job. They try to breathe, they fail and cry and stay up all night failing and crying. Which means you don't get any sleep either. Cue in: The NoseFrida. It's basically a tube you place right next to your baby's nostril and suck the mucus out. Yes, it's a SNOT SUCKER! And I love it. Non parents (and probably most parents) are thinking I’m gross and have many deep-seeded issues with snot, noses, children, and drugs. That’s totally fine, I can handle it. This thing really works! We even travel with it-don’t leave home without it! Paired with a few saline drops and it’s amazing how much I can clear out for my little guy. One or two quick sucks on each nostril, and he can breathe so much better.
I also thought I would add things that I got, but now think were a waste of money/unnecessary/scams they pull first time moms into:
- Baby laundry detergent: In my too-much-for-my-own-good reading about babies before my first child was born, I convinced myself that we'd need to switch to a (more expensive) baby laundry detergent (Dreft etc.). You don't. The unscented version of your current detergent should be just fine for your newborn. After Z turned 5 months, I switched his stuff back over to our regular fabulous smelling cherry blossom detergent (Yes, I made sure it didn't irritate him first) Now our clothes are back to smelling fresh and lovely. (Some babies DO have sensitive skin in which case Dreft or similar is great to have.) Again, this is just my opinion.
- Pee Pee Teepees - What a waste. Not having had a baby before, I was willing to believe that changing a baby boy's diaper meant a fountain of pee on your face 90% of the time. In reality, changing my son's diaper is mostly uneventful and requires no extra gadgets. Once you've become a pro diaper changing machine like most moms by week 3, your speed and flawless diaper changing abilities will be sure to help you avoid any accidents. A trick we used in the beginning was just to place a warm wipe over his little area to avoid accidents.
- Baby Bassinet with our Stroller - We just never got around to using this for Zidaan. The original plan was to use this for walks out and about with our little guy. He just seemed to like the car seat so much and with our car seat attaching to the stroller so effortlessly - that was our usual go-to plan. Also, for some odd reason it slipped our mind that we live in horrendous heat (Houston). The bassinet wasn't going to last for too long anyway.
My final recommendation is simply to use the lens of your LIFESTYLE to evaluate any purchase. A great product is only great if it applies to your life and how and where you live. A big, fully-featured, tricked out stroller is maybe ideal for a city-dweller who will use it everyday but total overkill for occasional use.
Also buy things as you need them not in anticipation that you may need them. To my sweet husband, I really should pay you back for all the unnecessary items I bought off of your amazon account the weeks before I gave birth. And yes, you were right. I was going stir crazy thinking of all the last minute things I "needed" before Zidaan came into our world. You're one in a million for putting up with me.
Thank you all for reading!